Summary: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline”(Proverbs 1:7NIV)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline”(Proverbs 1:7NIV)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10NIV)
Let’s ponder on the above decree by King Solomon who was the son of King David and the third king of the United Kingdom of Israel. According to 1 Kings chapter 4 verses 29 to 34, Bible says
“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. …… And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom”.
The God of heaven inspired the wisest and richest king to compose the book of proverbs full of advice for us to prosper in every part of our life. Nothing is off-limits in this fabulous book of the Bible. The commentary is practical, hard-hitting, current, and spiritual. There is not a better one anywhere. Look at Proverbs 1:2-6; which illustrate the purpose of this book. “For attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young – let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.” Solomon was well known for his great knowledge, wisdom, wealth and power. He was believed to be the main author of the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs and was the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” Here properly the book begins, and this is the first of the proverbs, and an excellent one. The knowledge of God is of great importance to our personal and private happiness. "the fear of the Lord" is not meant a servile fear, a fear of punishment, of hell, wrath, and damnation, which is the effect of the first work of the law upon the conscience; but a Godly fear, and supposes knowledge of God as a father, of his love and grace in Christ, particularly of his forgiving love, from whence it arises, Psalm 130:4 --- it is a holy, humble, a reverential affection and devotion to God; it includes the whole of religious worship, both internal and external; all that is contained in the first table of the law, and the manner of performing it, and principle of acting: this is the first of all sciences to be learned, and it is the principal one; it is the basis and foundation of all the rest, on which they depend; and it is the head, the fountain, the root an source, from where they spring; and unless a man knows God, knows God in Christ, and worships him in his fear, in spirit and in truth, according to his revealed will, he knows nothing as he ought to know; and all his knowledge will be of no avail and profit to him; this is the first and chief thing in spiritual and scriptural knowledge, and without which all natural knowledge will signify nothing;
The phrase “the fear of the Lord” is repeated at least 18 times in the book of Proverbs. So we can almost say that “the fear of the Lord” is the basic principle or the foundation on which we should build a life of knowledge and wisdom. The fear of the Lord is not a fear of punishment. The fear of the Lord is a refusal to participate in evil (Job 28:28). To fear the LORD is to hate evil ;( Proverbs 8:13) The fear of the Lord actually protects us from sinning against God, against others and against ourselves. It also means to seek God and listen to God’s wisdom. We look to the word of God as the source of our wisdom. Psalm 112:1 reads, “Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” Psalm 128:1 says, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who talk in his ways.” Ephesians 5:15-18 reads, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wife, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”